Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Clif Bar Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch

All right, before I start this review I have a disclaimer: this Clif bar is left over from the end of the spring semester, when I realized I had a couple hundred dollars’ worth of meal points left over. So I took my family to every convenience store on campus, plus the Creamery (where I picked this one up). That was early May. I just recently found the Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Clif bar among a crush of other items we bought, and since it looked rather squashed I decided I should probably just get it over with. So...here we go!

This flavor is from the original line of Clif bars. Billed as “nutrition for sustained energy,” it’s 70% organic. For 240 calories, it gives you 10g of protein, 4g of fiber, some vitamins and minerals, and a whole lotta sugar (21g). I guess that’s where the “energy” comes from.

Well, here it is:



 

“Chocolate chips and crunchy peanuts for serious satisfaction.”
Personally, I think it looks kind of like the horse treats I make at home with bran and molasses. It probably tastes better, although I haven’t tried the horse treats :) (my dad has).

As you might guess, it’s pretty sticky (also reminding me of my horse treats). Don’t try putting this on a napkin! I’d recommend eating it out of the wrapper, unless you want to leave sticky fingerprints all over your surroundings.

The thing about Clif bars is, they’re really dense. For its size, this is heavy. That bodes well as far as filling me up...but it better taste good, too!


 


With this bar, the inside mirrors the outside. No fancy coatings to mitigate any unwanted flavors; it needs to survive on its own. At the first taste, it definitely succeeds. I got a faint hint of peanut butter, which then turned into a distinct peanutty vibe. I didn’t taste a whole lot of chocolate; it really only comes through when there’s a big chocolate chip in your bite.

Then the oddest thing happened. All those tastes disappeared, and I think the oats must have come through, or the bran, or whatever is those whitish pieces you can see in the picture. You’re going to call me crazy but it made me think of fish food (and not the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor!). No, I have never actually tasted fish food, but...it tasted like fish food smells. If that makes sense. I’m pretty sure it was just a really bland oaty taste, but for some reason “fish food” jumped into my mind before I could stop it.

I eventually got over it as I continued eating. It’s just a minor annoyance, but I think this bar could really kick some serious butt if the flavor was richer and less bland at the end. I also would have liked the chocolate to stand out more; even when there were a couple chips in my bite, the molasses-y goop just kind of ate it.

While the bar was sticky to the touch, it wasn’t overly hard to eat. It is a little bit of work to chew, but no more than an ordinary granola bar. It’s molasses-y but crispy at the same time, which keeps things interesting. Clif bars are definitely unique in the texture department. It’s a nice break from the usual nutrition/energy bar.

Taste: 6--peanutty/peanut buttery at first, but the chocolate is underwhelming and the blandness of the oats really comes through at the end.
Texture: 8--sort of sticky, but not impossible to chew; the crispy pieces mixed in complement the molasses-like consistency.
Health: 8--you can’t get around it, “sustained energy” means sugar, so if you’re watching your intake this bar may not be for you. But it does have a lot of protein and other nutrients. GoodGuide gives it an 8.4 health score.
Eat Again? Probably not.

   

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